6th Online festival «The Bear and the Baritone on Other Planets»
The 6th Online Festival of the Greek National Opera, curated by Giorgos Koumendakis, premieres on GNO TV in the Christmas holiday season and takes children –and not only– on three unique journeys into the world of imagination. Tales of a Bear premieres on 23 December, Bridget Planet on 27 December and The Baritone’s Shoes on 3 January. GNO TV is part of a new strand of programming of the Greek National Opera made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.
Bridget Planet creates a world from zero. It describes the life of lonely people. Their everyday life seems tediously repetitive. Extreme weather conditions, environmental pollution and loneliness compose a world in which the characters seem to be trapped. Redemption can only come through music, which awakens children’s imagination and builds the bridges that will connect everything that is isolated and in pieces together.
In a dreamy, black and white environment, Bridget Planet tells the story of a universe that consists of planets, which are cut off from each other, imperfect, and “stricken”. On each planet there lives a small creature that tries to cross over, so as to come in contact with some other living being. Yet, these efforts are in vain and, despite their great persistence, the little heroes do not manage to reach another planet; they stay alone and miserable. In the second part of the story these little creatures are still alone and sad. They try to perform movements-actions reminiscent of “contact”. They hug themselves, they kiss their own hands, they caress their own hair. One of them starts whistling a melody. Then a colourful note pops out of its mouth. In the beginning the creature is startled but then it finds the strength to continue whistling. In a magical way the colourful notes coming out of its mouth become a bridge. When the rest of the creatures that live alone on the other planets see that, they also start whistling and producing colourful notes, which then turn into bridges. “The planets are different but the gaze stays the same”, notes the composer. And in this case the “gaze” is music. Music for sure can build bridges regardless of the planet each of us lives on. Yorgos Tamiolakis draws inspiration from the sketches of J.J. Grandeville’s book Un autre monde.